Friday, April 20, 2012

the recruit: Trent Corney

Name: Trent Corney
Position: ??
Hometown: Brockville, ON
School: Thousand Islands
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 240

24/7: NR
Rivals: NR
Scout: two stars, #109 OLB

Other offers: Buffalo, others?

This is a little bit of a different breed of recruitment.  You might've noticed that most of the recruiting sites are insistent on classifying Trent Corney as a 2012 recruit - not totally unreasonable, as it's the year he'll graduate from high school.  But they have their ways and I have mine: Corney will spend this fall (most likely) playing for Fork Union's prep team, and enroll at UVA in January 2013.  That makes him, in my book, an early-enrolling 2013 recruit.  The recruiting board reflects as much.

Right now, Corney is less of a football player and more of a track star that plays football.  He's a freakish athlete and moves ridiculously well for a guy his size.  If he wanted to play basketball he probably could.  If he wanted to play lacrosse he probably could.  Hockey, probably.  One report attributes him a 4.3 40 time and while I don't believe that any more than I believe there's a purple boogeyman under my bed,** I'm willing to believe he's absurdly fast for a guy his size.

Of course he's strong as hell, too; various numbers have popped up for his bench press, squat, etc. which are highly impressive and so on and so forth.  It's the javelin where Corney excels, though.  He's a national-level javelin thrower; in fact, if his personal best javelin toss of 64.05 meters (800 grams, the same weight the NCAA uses) had been entered in last year's ACC championships, he'd have placed fourth.  As a junior in high school.

Corney made his mind up a while ago, though, that he'd pursue a football scholarship and not a track one; he won't be on the track team at UVA.  To that end he hit some camps, and wowed with his athleticism but probably not his football skills.  The only school I could find that definitely gave him an offer was Buffalo.  Rutgers showed a lot of interest, Stanford and Miami had a look, Pittsburgh, but no firm offers. 

I don't usually find highlight tapes all that interesting, because they're "highlight tapes" for a reason, but Corney's was even less useful than most.  Which in fact tells the story.  A lot of the plays are of the man-among-boys type - like the time he tackled the holder before the kicker could get the extra point off.  It speaks more to the level of competition than anything.  Also, Corney's tackling form stinks.  Often it was just, grab a guy by the jersey and chuck him to the ground with the javelin hand.

Also telling in this regard is that he doesn't really have a position.  One report lists him as a "Running Back, Tight End, Wide Receiver, Linebacker, Safety, Defensive End."  Uh, that's basically all of them.  Except quarterback and kicker.  This FUMA year will be necessary to find out what position he fits best, just for starters.

Essentially, what we've got here is a blank slate.  I bet coaches love this, because it doesn't come across their plate too often: a freakish athlete where you get to just choose his position.  I have no idea what that'll be and I bet the coaches don't know right now either and don't care.  We can probably narrow down a few - he's not a defensive back, he's probably not an offensive lineman because he'd have to grow too much and learn too much technique, and he's probably not a tailback.  On defense, he's either a defensive end or maybe - maybe - a linebacker.  Big maybe, though - he's probably going to outgrow the kind of size Mike London prefers at linebacker, but that doesn't necessarily mean he won't be athletic enough anyway.  If on offense, he's a tight end or an H-back style fullback.

You have to love the idea of trying a guy like Corney on your team, though.  The chances of him really and truly reaching his full potential are slim, for two reasons: his incredible rawness, and the enormous height of his ceiling.  It's probable, though admittedly boring, that he'll fall somewhere in between total superstar and washout.  You ask me, I think I'd prefer to see him as a field-stretching tight end, because we haven't had that ability from that position for a while.

**Have you noticed I basically never mention anyone's 40 time?  Until there's a real, honest standard for them that everyone uses, they're useless.  Especially hand-timed ones.  People place such importance on tenths of a second and people just don't have that kind of reaction time.  Proof positive of the worthlessness of 40-time reports is that an actual newspaper-type thing reported with a straight face that a 240-pound guy ran a 4.3.  He bloody well did not.


Anonymous said...

Not related to this post (although thanks for the info), but check out Danny Hultzen notes in this week's Baseball America Prospect Hot Sheet:

Anonymous said...

loss to Duke sure doesn't help the baseball squad ... they really need to win the last game and go 2-1 against Duke. 1-2 would ... really hurt.

Anonymous said...

TRENT CORNEY is a beast of an athlete

Anonymous said...

Because it is insane to have a 240 lb guy run a 4.3 doesn't mean it didn't happen. I know this guy and I would bet the farm that he ran the 4.3, and could still probably run the 4.3. Unless you've seen the guy run, don't question it. You've already established that he's a freak athlete, so why are you so doubtful when it is claimed he did something freakish? Bottom line, he's probably the fastest 240lb guy there is.